Internet of Things was identified as one of five trends for 2016 in PRSM’s Annual Trends Report, released at the Mid-Year Conference, September 9-11. Due to the complicated nature and the enormous possibilities, the phrase has been popping up everywhere.
A simple way to define ‘Internet of Things’ is the connecting of components or systems that are Internet enabled, to facilitate data transfer over a network. Facilities maintenance has tremendous opportunities to connect different building automation, energy management and lighting systems, as well as other systems that have data generation capabilities.
But is the retail industry ready? In the latest benchmarking report, “The Internet of Things in Retail: Great Expectations,” Retail Systems Research (RSR) believes that, “the largest retailers see [Internet of Things] as enough of a game changer that they believe if they don’t invest, they could be left behind.”
In the below chart, the RSR research shows that at least 72 percent of retailers have at least one-sensor based project and are actively seeking new projects – with half of them performing at higher levels.
The majority retailers currently see opportunities for implementing IoT technology to better manage inventory and customer engagement but 28 percent of retailers also see the opportunity to apply the technologies to monitoring and preventative maintenance.
In addition, 12 percent of retailers see equipment outages and repair as one of the top three challenges IoT can solve. Retailers, especially those with revenue-generating equipment, know downtime can be expensive. Using IoT technologies they can link critical equipment that could send a message to facility managers, and notify them when equipment is failing or needs maintenance.
One of the biggest take-aways from the RSR report is that IoT is not about pushing out more product, it is about building the relationship with the customer. Facilities management has always had an under-rated role in the customer’s experience. But if the store was too hot, dirty, and dangerous – would shoppers even want to enter the store?
So, although the retailers in this study are not rating maintenance and repair as the number one reason to use IoT, in the next few years, as the technology is employed more and more, it will enable the C-Suite to better understand the cost savings opportunities for all departments, especially those savings generated by facilities maintenance.
So once again, is the industry ready? Where does your company fall on the IoT spectrum? And, are you professionally prepared to implement and manage IoT? Share your experience below in the comments section!